Guidance document

Cemetery planning, preparation and management during COVID-19: A quick guide to proper documentation and disposition of the dead

Publication Year
Thematic Area
Prevention / Management of the Dead / Identification / Emergency / Burial Site / Mass Grave
Open access

This quick guide provides practical recommendations for managing and documenting the burial process, including temporary burial, with a focus on the COVID-19 pandemic. This guidance can be applied to any incident involving mass fatalities when the local capacity to provide safe, appropriate and dignified burials is overwhelmed.

This document explains how to plan, prepare and manage a cemetery. It also provides specifications on size, spacing and excavation depths, together with information about other important considerations. The document also covers procedures for receiving bodies, as well as measures to ensure the health and safety of relatives and cemetery staff. Additional recommendations on how to correctly map graves is provided, as well as a list of actions to ensure the traceability and correct management of bodies in a cemetery.